Between the 23rd and 30th of September 2023, the European Week of Judo Values (EWJV) successfully concluded a series of events. This non-profit sports initiative, supported by the European Union through Erasmus+, brought together people in a week filled with inspiration, unity, and knowledge. Several activities, workshops, and judo sessions took place during this period. The “Playing for Peace” event was the highlight of the EWJV project, accompanied by various supporting events, such as educational workshops and open judo classes that were available to all. The program was a harmonious blend of ethics, sportsmanship, and cultural exchange, making the initiative a resounding success.
In a mesmerising live video streamed on the European Judo Union (EJU) YouTube channel, participants from Slovenia, Portugal, and Croatia were seen practising judo techniques together on tatami mats. The graceful movements and techniques showcased the deep values and principles of judo instilled in its practitioners. The video was an excellent display of the beauty and harmony within judo.
Katja Rudas, the EJU Education Commissioner who oversees Erasmus+ projects stated,
The event showcased how judo transcends borders and unites people from different regions. Witnessing participants from Ljubljana, Lisbon, and Rijeka embrace and embody the values of judo was a truly enchanting experience, with profound symbolic meaning.
PLAYING FOR PEACE wasn’t just a theme but also an experienced reality. The programme tried to blend physical activity with the conscious impartation of values, highlighting judo’s often-overlooked ethical and pedagogical essence. Every session and exercise focused on fostering respect, courage, sincerity, and other core judo values. According to Rudaš,
The values of judo radiated beyond the mats and influenced all aspects of the event, showcasing the holistic impact of these principles on individuals and societies.
The EWJV was hosted by three different sports associations – the Escola de Judo Nuno Delgado in Portugal, the GIB Sports Association in Slovenia, and the Rijeka’s Sports Association in Croatia. This event perfectly demonstrated the harmonious combination of diversity, unity, and learning. Every throw, pin, and movement was a reflection of the values that judo instils in its practitioners and the wider community.
The project was supported by esteemed organizations including the European Judo Union, the Judo Federation of Slovenia, the Judo Federation of Portugal, and the Croatian Olympic Committee. It not only increased awareness about the educational benefits of practising judo but also took practical steps towards instilling these values deeply into society.
As we look back on the successful event, we can feel the lasting impact of unity, respect, and ethical integrity. This highlights the power of judo not just as a sport, but also as a life philosophy and a tool for societal transformation.
The European Week of Judo Values was more than just an event. It brought together diverse values, cultures, and learning opportunities, making significant progress in promoting and embodying the values of judo.
To learn more about the EWJV Project and stay up-to-date on upcoming events and resources, please visit their website (https://ewjvproject.eu/).
Author: EJU Media